The sport of motor racing takes on many forms from Superbikes up to the Formula One championship that tours the globe every year. Among the most popular is the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, NASCAR, series, with regional and national racing across the US.
NASCAR sanctions over 1500 races in 48 states as well as in Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
The races are around 500 miles in length, taking around three hours to complete. Points are awarded with 40 points for finishing first, plus a three-point bonus for the win and a further point for leading on the last lap. Second place receives 39 points and so on.
To bet successfully on NASCAR you need to know the driver, the car and the course. Practice and qualifying are crucial to see how the cars cope with the track and the importance of starting position: a tight track where overtaking is difficult means the higher the starting place the better.
However, starting position can be overplayed on certain tracks. Odds change based on starting position and generous odds are offered on drivers qualifying down the field. If a good driver is down the field on a larger track where passing is relatively easy, it might be worth rising a few dollars at better odds.
The simple bet is the win bet where you pick a driver to finish first in a particular race. Remember to always check the driver’s form at that track: if he regularly fails to complete then maybe rethink your selection.
You can also pick a winner in a head-to-head battle between two drivers: they don’t have to win the race only finish ahead of the other driver.
There is also the option of in-play betting with some gambling sites offering odds after the start of a race. Check out sites like betamerica, pointsbet and fanduel to bet on Nascar races online. In-play betting is becoming more available in the US with states lining up to follow the likes of New Jersey, Delaware, Montana, and Pennsylvania to offer the service.
TV coverage of NASCAR is on Fox Sports and NBC Sports.
NASCAR originated at Daytona Beach in Florida, the venue being the place to set land speed records in the 1920s and 30s. It became a focal point for fast cars – for record attempts and to show them off!
Stock cars became synonymous with bootlegging during Prohibition, drivers modifying their cars for speed and handling as they attempted to evade the police. After Prohibition some of the drivers continue to ferry moonshine, this time evading government officials attempting to tax their operation.
The cars continued to be modified and races had begun in the rural southern states. In March 1936 a collection of drivers gathered at Daytona in a variety of cars. They raced on the road and beach and while some of the heavier vehicles got bogged down, the lighter Fords were the fastest finishers.
There were only ten finishers out of 27 cars, completing a distance on a set course of just short of 250 miles. Milt Marion was declared the winner, and a young man called Bill France finished 5th.
France saw the potential of the race and in 1947 he announced the formation of the National Championship Stock Car Circuit, NCSCC. He declared the winner of the 1947 NCSCC would receive $1,000 and a trophy.
The racing started at Daytona in January and, 40 races later, finished at Jacksonville in December. There was widespread support from the public and Fonty Flock was declared the overall winner.
NCSCC became NASCAR and the series was etched into American folklore.
Today the sport’s highest level of professional competition is the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – 36 races over 10 months. The most successful drivers with seven championships are Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jimmie Johnson; Johnson with five consecutive wins from 2006 to 2010.
Among other NASCAR racing series are the Xfinity Series and the Gander Outdoor Truck Series.
The current Cup Series is dominated by Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Martin Truex Jr, with Busch the favorite to lift the 2019 title in December.